Sea level risk worsens: Need for greater urgency as Arctic ice melting faster
The ice of Greenland and the rest of the Arctic is melting faster than expected and could help raise global sea levels by as much as one and half metres this century, dramatically higher than earlier projections, an authoritative international assessment says.
The findings ’emphasise the need for greater urgency’ in combating global warming, says the report of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), the scientific arm of the eight-nation Arctic Council.
The melting of Arctic glaciers and ice caps, including Greenland’s massive ice sheet, is projected to help raise global sea levels by 90 to 160 centimeters by 2100, AMAP said, although it noted that estimate was highly uncertain.
Now the AMAP assessment finds that Greenland was losing ice in the 2004-2009 period four times faster than in 1995-2000.
The last bit is interesting, the rest is not news, except that the article appeared in the Courier Mail. Probably just a page-filler grabbed off the wires. Turn over a few pages and there was a column by Jennifer Marohasy. Normal service restored.
Corruption threatens climate finance
Transparency International tells us that the 20 countries that need most help in climate change all score below 3.6 on their corruption scale, where zero is most corrupt on a 10-point scale.
Reuters article here.
Warmer oceans release CO2 faster than thought
As the world’s oceans warm, their massive stores of dissolved carbon dioxide may be quick to bubble back out into the atmosphere and amplify the greenhouse effect, according to a new study.
The oceans capture around 30 per cent of human carbon dioxide emissions and hide it in their depths. This slows the march of global warming somewhat. But climate records from the end of the last ice age show that as temperatures climb, the trend reverses and the oceans emit CO2, which exacerbates warming.
We are looking here at 200 years instead of 400 to 1300 years. Two reasons are given for the effect. The first is that there is deeper mixing as the ocean warms, dredging up CO2-rich deep ocean waters. Secondly, when you warm the ocean up it drives the gas out, just like warming up a Coke bottle.
Carbon accounting system crazy
Countries such as the UK and the US to delude themselves by not counting the hidden emissions from imported goods.
On the latest more comprehensive figures:
the UK’s CO2 emissions didn’t fall by 28m tonnes between 1990 and 2008 at all, as the official record indicates, but rose by a substantial 100m tonnes. Rich country emissions went up 12% over the period when hidden, traded emissions are included, and anomalies such as Russia, whose economy collapsed in the early 1990s, are left out.
World to lose forest area 27 times as big as Austria
the world stands to lose 230 million hectares of forest by 2050 with drastic consequences for the climate, biodiversity and the global economy.
They are advocating Zero Net Deforestation and Forest Degradation (ZNDD) by 2020.
Obama must break with failed U.S. energy policies
Environment360 reviews Obama’s recent energy policy speech. And finds continuity through the last eight presidencies.
The president would regulate, bribe, purchase, and cajole to transform how we produce and use energy in this country.
In his kennel of proposals, however, one dog failed to bark, the same dog that never barks. In the thousands of pages of energy legislation and regulations enacted since energy policy came to the fore in the 1970s, Congress has never demanded that Americans pay a price that reflects the true price of the energy they consume. For nearly a decade following the oil embargo of 1973, Congress refused even to allow the price of gas at the pump to reflect the worldwide market price of oil.
The US continues to subsidise energy production and not to tax consumption. It’s a matter of political necessity, it seems, where Obama talks tough, but the actions belie the talk.
I haven’t had time to look at his policies in detail, so I wonder what you think.
How do we fight without losing what we’re fighting for? That’s the problem exercising George Monbiot. In producing more wind power, for example, we are industrialising our landscape. People are revolting.
Whatever we do produces more emissions or outcomes we don’t want to live with. We are stuck, with no idea what to do. He looks at the Dark Mountain Project which is attempting to create a new narrative, to change culture.
Monbiot thinks this will founder when it tries to translate into practical realities and quantities. All he can offer is withering analysis, quantification and exposure.
But can we do this without becoming insensible to beauty, and to the impulse – a love for the world and its people, its places and its living creatures – which turned us green in the first place? I don’t know. I do know that it’s a discussion in which we have to engage.
A whole new kind of capitalism
By contrast Ferber and Epstein have a whole shopping list of answers, rather than questions.
Their vision is not so much a different kind of capitalism, but rather the same old beast, regulated to death. For good measure they want to reshape the worlds institutions such as the WTO, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. They propose a Tobin tax to shave a slither off international currency trading, which they’ve just decided should be eliminated.
They’ll grow old and die before they get to first base.
A better chance, I think, to introduce the überregulation of cap and trade and let the world carry on as it will.